I found another railway arch bottle shop and bar, near where I live, recently and I thought I’d pay them a visit and grab some beers. I went for some new breweries including this one from Hemel Hempstead based Mad Squirrel. ‘Hopfest’ is their gluten free option in the form of a pale ale at 3.8% ABV.
Visually the beer pours a slightly hazy-gold straw colour. The nose is very fresh. Lot’s of citrus grapefruit with a grassy or piney aroma as well. For a session beer the body is surprisingly full with the citrus and pine from the nose coming through in the flavour. There is a good hop hit without being overbearing. Lovely bitterness throughout leading to a moreish finish.
A quick note on the can art: All their core range cans feature their squirrel motif. The background for the design reminds me of tree bark and I think the can stands out rather well.
For a session ABV, core range, gluten free beer this is pretty solid. The main takeaway for me is that it’s a refreshing brew. I could find myself very easily knocking back pints of this on a hot summers day. The flavour profile isn’t mind blowing, but that is to be expected from a lower ABV beer. However, it is crisp and hoppy and has enough going on to keep you interested. If you are gluten intolerant I don’t think you’d have any issues with this beer as Mad Squirrel’s GF option, particularly if you enjoy a nice bitter hit in your brews.
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- Hops: Citra, Centennial, Chinook
- Malt: Not Available
- IBU: 27
- ABV: 3.8%
- Gluten Free: Yes!
- Vegan: Yes!
- Purchase Location: Wanstead Tap
- Purchase Price: £4